The Delhi High Court dismissed the plea by lawyers' association, with a cost of Rs.50,000/-, whereby re-appointment of Justice (Retd.) K.S. Ahluwalia as chairperson of Railway Claims Tribunal was challenged and said that any attempt to vilify judges without any reasonable basis cannot be permitted.

The Bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh observed that “In the opinion of this Court, the entire attempt in this petition on behalf of the lawyers’ association is to raise aspersions against the duly constituted Tribunal. Accordingly, considering the nature of submissions made in Court and in the pleadings, the writ petition is dismissed. It is made clear that any attempt to vilify Judges, without any reasonable basis, be it Judges of Constitutional Courts, Trial Courts or judges presiding over Quasi-Judicial bodies cannot be permitted.”

Advocate Ashok Pandey appeared for the petitioner and ASG Chetan Sharma and CGSC Apoorv Kurup appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the petitioner- Rail Dawa Bar Association, Lucknow had moved the plea wherein directions were sought on Central Government to lay down a fair and transparent selection procedure for appointment of Chairman, Vice Chairman (Judicial), Vice Chairman (Technical), Member (Judicial) and Members (Technical) in Railway Clams Tribunal.

The Counsel for the petitioner contended that Justice (Retd.) K.S. Ahluwalia was not eligible and qualified for re-appointment and that proper procedure was not followed in the appointment process.

The Court perused the submissions made on behalf of the parties and observed that the language used in the rejoinder clearly showed that the intention was to simply raise baseless and scandalous allegations.

“The rejoinder smacks of sensationalism which uses completely unbecoming language. Wild allegations are made by the Petitioner without verification of facts or law. The intention appears to be simply to besmirch various individuals for some inexplicable reason, rather than to raise grounds within the confines of law.” said the Court.

The Court said that the filing of the writ petition was a malafide attempt to throw mud on the reputation of the incumbent and was a gross abuse of process and that the process of appointment had been well explained by the Union in its counter affidavits and none of the grounds raised in the petition were made out for setting aside he re-appointment.

“In the overall facts and circumstances of this case, it is clear that the petition and the pleadings filed by the Petitioner are nothing but an attempt towards undermining the dignity of the current Chairman of the Railway Claims Tribunal and impede in the functioning of the Railway Claims Tribunal.” said the Court.

Accordingly, the petition was disposed of and cost of Rs. 50,000/- was imposed upon the petitioner.

Cause Title- Rail Dawa Bar Association, Lucknow v. Union of India & Ors. (Neutral Citation No.-2023/DHC/001743)

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